Blue Beetle Is The First New DCU Film

Blue Beetle's director Angel Manuel Soto confirms Jaime Reyes will be part of the DCU under James Gunn.

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

The full impact of The Flash on future DC films has yet to unfold, but it seems Blue Beetle will be part of the expansive superhero world going forward. As covered by The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s director, Angel Manuel Soto, stated that the character is “part of the plans that they have been creating for the future installments of the DCU.”

Blue Beetle is set to hit theaters this August, introducing the world to a lesser-known character from the DC comic book universe. The film, along with the recently released The Flash and this December’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, was already in production when James Gunn and Peter Safran took the reins at DC Studios last year.

The duo has big plans for overhauling the DCU, including new takes on Batman and Superman. Though there are massive changes happening under the new DC executive team, it seems Blue Beetle made the cut as part of the new DCU.

What exactly that means is still a little fuzzy. James Gunn said on the Inside of You With Michael Rosenbaum podcast that Blue Beetle is the “first DCU character,” while “the first full DCU movie is Superman [Legacy].”

That distinction does not quite clear up how the DCU is transitioning into its new era. Soto put it this way: “…[W]e are not tied to all the films from the past. Yes, our movie lives in the world where superheroes exist. But that doesn’t mean that a certain event, or certain alliance, or certain things from the past dictate where our film is going.”

Soto also said that Blue Beetle was constructed to be the kickoff to a trilogy of films centered on the character. He teased that the movie is written like the first act of a larger story, meaning cliffhangers and post-credit scenes are likely on the way.

Based on the comic book hero, the film follows Jamie Reyes, a young man whose humble life gets flipped upside down when an alien scarab bonds with him, giving him access to a high-tech suit of armor.

Cobra Kai star Xolo Mariduena will take on the Blue Beetle mantle in the film, joined by Susan Sarandon, Harvey Guillen, Bruna Marquezine, and George Lopez. Blue Beetle checks in as DC’s first Latino superhero to hit the big screen.

Blue Beetle has been around since 1939. The character went through two iterations before being acquired by DC in 1983. Blue Beetle was woven into the DC canon during the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline.

Jaime Reyes became the third Blue Beetle in 2006 and has been the running version of the character ever since. The character has had multiple solo runs in comics and served a stint as a member of the Teen Titans.

Far from the recognition level of characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, Blue Beetle represents a new wave of lesser-known DC characters headed to the big and small screen. Titles like Booster Gold, The Authority, and Creature Commandos are among the more obscure DC properties getting a film or television treatment under the new Gunn and Safran regime.

James Gunn made a name for himself with Guardians of the Galaxy, a superhero film that made essentially unknown characters into household names. As the head honcho at DC, Gunn is betting on Blue Beetle and other lesser-known DC characters to make similar transformations.

Blue Beetle may not be the symbolic fresh start Superman: Legacy is shaping up to be, but it sounds like it is technically the first film to take place in the newly established DCU canon. So long as The Flash’s anemic opening weekend is not a forecast for Blue Beetle’s box office performance, it seems the character is here to stay.